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Last update: 12-Mar-2017

COMARA News - March 12, 2017

  • Purchase discount Hershey Park tickets before Monday, March 27, 2017. Fred Kelly has once again offered to make this offer avaiable to COMARA members. Use the form on the announcement at 2017 Hershey Discount Tickets to let Fred know that you plan to purchase tickets. Then, send him a check for the tickets.
  • Dependent Certification - Action Required. Respond befor April 28, 2017
  • In Memoriam. A summary of notices the past few months.
    • Dan Swearingen
    • Jim Dunlop
    • Alberto Ramos
    • Irwin Feigenbaum
    • Herbert Hansom
    • Barbara Swaylik
    • Pier Bargellini
    • Joseph Charyk
  • Purchase tickets for 2017 IRAA/COMARA Strathmore Event by Wednesday, 18 April, 2017.
  • Satellites: Transforming our Lives exhibit in final phases of build-out.

Purchase Discount Hershey Tickets by March 27

Fred Kelly has once again offered to make this offer avaiable to COMARA members. Use the form an the announcement at 2017 Hershey Discount Tickets to let Fred know that you plan to purchase tickets. Then, send him a check for the tickets before Monday, March 27, 2017. The tickets can be used any day during the regular Hershey Park season from May 5, 2017 to Sept 24, 2017, that the park is open. Tickets can be purchased for family, parents, grandkids and friends. Participants do not need to be COMARA members.

Dependent Certification - Action Required

Attention: Lockheed Martin Retirees. Lockheed Martin Corporation has mailed instructions for you to certify your dependents. Continutation of benefits requires you to complete this process before April 28, 2017. (It's a good idea for you to go ahead and complete this now.) If you haven't received this notice, contact the Employee Service Center at 1-866-562-2363.

  1. Visit Internet:
    Requires your LMESC Login ID and password.
    If you need help with your Login ID or password, click the Login Help link or call the Service Center.
  2. Click the Certify Today! link.
    Follow the prompts to complete the certification process for each of your enrolled dependents.
  3. Once you have finished verifying all of your dependents, click the Return to 'Dependent Status Summary' button.

You can also certify your dependents by calling the LMESC at 866-562-2363.
If you have questions, call the LMESC at 866-562-2363.

In Memoriam

We've had an increasing number of members who died in the past few months. Here's a list of the obituaries and funeral notices that we have sent to members.

Dan Swearingen

Dan Swearingen Services March 4, 2017, 2:00 pm

Jim Dunlop

James D. Dunlop (February 19, 2017)

Alberto Ramos

Alberto Ramos Services - December 31, 2016

Irwin Feigenbaum

Irwin Feigenbaum Services: December 13, 2016 at 11 a.m.

Herbert Hansom

This is a long-delayed publication. We did receive two notices near the end of January 2017 of the passing of Herbert Hanson from Kathy Szot and Don Fifield. The webmaster somehow missed passing the information on to COMARA Alumni.

Herbert Hanson - October 8, 2016 - Baltimore Sun
Herbert Hanson - Washington Post
Herbert Hanson Story - Baltimore Sun

Passing of Barbara Swaylik - October 2016

Note from Victor Slabinski (Received Nov 4, 2016):

I report the passing of long time Comsat employee Barbara Swaylik who was a secretary on the L'Enfant Plaza 8th floor (executive suite). She (probably) died the week ending 2016 Oct. 15. My wife heard mention of her passing (in prayers for the dead) at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Alexandria, VA where Barbara was a long time parishioner. This is all I know.

My wife reads the death notices. No death notice appeared in the Washington Post.

Pier Bargellini

Pier Bargellini - Died Aug 14, 2016

Joseph Charyk

Joseph Charyk - September 28, 2016

2017 IRAA/COMARA Strathmore Event

Strathmore Music Center COMARA/IRAA members are cordially invited to an afternoon performance by the National Philharmonic at the Strathmore Music Center in Bethesda, Maryland:
Sunday, April 23, 2017 - 3:00 pm

National Philharmonic presents: Mussorgsky's Pictures at An Exhibition
The Strathmore Music Center
5301 Tuckerman Lane
Bethesda, MD 20852

This year we are featuring seats in two areas:
Orchestra seats at $47.20 each; Grand Tier (2nd balcony) seats at $44.00 each
Payment deadline: Wednesday, 18 April, 2017.
Send check to Satpal Chhabra (IRAA Treasurer) or use IRAA Paypal link
See the announcement and details

Pictures from First Wednesday in December Event at Woodside Deli

Photos from 2016 First Wednesday in December About 45 COMSAT Alumni attended the 2016 First Wednesday in December gathering. Here's a first look at the photos. We had a great turnout and were surprised to see a number of former employees that were not COMARA members. Ben Pontano (former director of COMSAT Labs) and Prakash Chitre (V.P. & G.M. at Comsat Labs, ViaSat) in Germantown.

We will get around to tagging people in the photos soon. (The webmaster can use some helpt for this task.)

Thanks to Ron Johnson for organizing this event.

2017 Strathmore Concert
Sun, April 23, 2017 3:00pm
Strathmore Center Bethesda
Check or PayPal to IRAA by Apr 18

Next Board Meeting

Tue, Apr 18, 2017 11:30am
Chez Kinzie

Hershey Tickets
Check to Fred Kelly
by March 27, 2017

Upcoming Events


Satellites: Transforming our Lives exhibit in final phases of build-out

Joe Pelton - Jan 27, 2017

ExPlus Incoporated of Virginia has now been selected as the fabricator of the new space exhibit at the National Electronics Museum that will, we hope, be finished by the end of May 2017. If all goes well there will be an opening in June 2017. We have received confirmation of a wonderful large scale model of a Boeing satellite that is being shipped from California and we also hope to get a new Kymeta metamaterial state of the art antenna plus yet another launcher model from United Launch Systems to complete the exhibits on display. We recently received a major new donation from Northrop Grumman, but we could still use some more donations because of unexpected costs such as the $7K of costs to get the Boeing satellite model shipped to the museum. We are currently working on the "script" for the display and seeking key videos for the Clarke Theater that can be seen on slide 18 in the attached JPEG presentation of the entire exhibit.

In addition to the exhibit efforts we are also working to improve the external appearance and signage for the museum and have bids pending for painting of the exterior of the building, new signage, and other enhancements.

Our team of Denis Curtin, Ellen Hoff, Ruth Pritchard Kelly, Maury Mechanick, and Scott Chase are working diligently with Michael Simons, Director of the National Electronics Museum, David Fridberg, the display designing, Joan Mathys, the graphics and exhibit items acquisition officer, and Beth Miles, the script writer, along with myself--all trying very hard to make this really finally happen after years of effort. The support of the Intelsat Retirees Association and COMARA that allowed this all to get started is truly appreciated .

Anyone wishing to receive a copy of the 40 page museum exhibit booklet can receive one if they could make a donation of $50 or more. For details. Contact Joseph N. Pelton, Chair of Space Gallery Exhibit Committee.

Design Development Presentation 09-28-2016.pdf

JOSEPH VINCENT CHARYK - September 28, 2016

Joseph Charyk JOSEPH VINCENT CHARYK (Age 96) Of Delray Beach, FL, Falmouth, MA and formerly of Washington, D.C. passed away peacefully on Wednesday, September 28, 2016. He enjoyed a long and distinguished career, making key contributions to the field of global telecommunications. Charyk is widely credited as the founder of the geosynchronous communications satellite industry.

This notice was sent to COMARA members.

Charyk passes away - some of us were lucky to be at Comsat in the 1980's

Read Article from Space Daily posted in Comsat Alumni LinkedIn Group By Lalji Ghedia

Have you paid dues for 2017?

So many New Year's Resolutions are quickly broken and forgotten, but one resolution you should work on is to keep up with your annual COMARA membership dues. Already 124 members are paid up for 2017, consisting of 114 members who paid in advance last year and 10 who have sent in their contributions this year. The COMARA Board of Directors wholeheartedly thanks each of you who are already paid up for 2017.

Your dues are needed to support COMARA's mission of keeping the COMSAT Legacy alive and paying for this year's operational expenses such as the COMARA web site. COMARA.ORG has lots of wonderful links to legacy materials, membership contact data, and retiree benefits information.

If you cannot remember whether or not you are already paid up, you can check your dues status by signing in to COMARA.ORG and seeing if the text at the top left side next to your name says "Dues paid in current year" or "Future dues paid".
For the 600 of you are not already paid up, please mail your dues check of $15 for 1 year or better yet $30 for 2 years to:

PO Box 34594
Bethesda, MD 20827

Don't forget you can also pay your dues via the PayPal link at the bottom of the COMARA home page.

Your membership dues status is shown at the top of our Home Page after you sign in. If you have already paid your 2017 membership dues, thank you for your support. If you have not yet paid your 2017 membership dues of $15 per year, please send a check to COMARA using our PO Box or use PayPal. Better yet, please send in $30 for both your 2017 and 2018 membership dues.
PO Box 34594
Bethesda, MD 20827
Pay with PayPal
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In Memoriam
Board of Directors
  • Denis Curtin - 2014
  • Dan DiFonzo - 2014
  • Bob Kinzie - 2014
  • Peter Jacxsens - 2015
  • David Lee - 2015
  • Maury Mechanick - 2015
  • Fred Kelly - 2016
  • Geza Serenyi - 2016
  • Ron Johnson - 2016
  • Maury Mechanick - President
  • Fred Kelly - Secretary
  • Geza Serenyi - Treasurer
  • Denis Curtin - Social
  • Peter Jacxsens - Membership
  • Ron Johnson - 1st Wednesday
  • Paul Schrantz - Legacy
  • Rich Lustig - Benefits
  • Jack Hannon - Benefits
  • Ron Garlow - Webmaster